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Lion Rock

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Business Type: Piha Rock Icon


This eroded volcanic neck, some 16 million years old is named for its likeness to a male lion, lying down when viewed from the beach.

Address: Marine Parade North, Piha, Auckland Auckland North & West


This natural formation divides north and south Piha Beach, well known for its black sand caused by high iron content, which is of volcanic origin.

A short but steep climb up Lion Rock will be rewarded with spectacular views in all directions.

There are many great photo shots to be had out here – Piha is a popular surf beach with huge sets of waves rolling in.

A climb up Lion Rock gives great views over the area.

So many great photo opportunities – not forgetting the amazing sunsets!

Take an invigorating stroll along the black iron sands of Piha Beach, 40km west of Auckland and you’ll be enchanted by its untamed nature. The popular surfing beach is wild, wind-swept, moody and mysterious with its rugged cliffs and its majestic icon, Lion Rock. It’s the birthplace of board surfing in New Zealand, initiated by two California lifeguards in the 1950’s.

Te Piha, as the rock was known to early Maori, was a defensive pa site. Old shell middens and terraces can be seen on the right shoulder and pits are evident on the summit, the last bastion of this citadel. The volcano that produced this eroded plug erupted 16 million years ago.

Near the Maori carving at the base is a plaque that reads, ‘Te Kawarau a Maki people have lived, fought and died here, retrace their steps with respect.’

Rock falls have made the summit inaccessible. Visitors can climb half-way up to a stone seat and enjoy the dazzling sea-spray filtered views on both sides of the rock.

More Information: Piha


Piha, West Auckland

Photo Gallery

Lion Rock
  • By   zanthia  on Flickr

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